What a trip. I’ve put over a hundred and fifty hours into the game. I beat it once and started over in new game plus and have gone through the first two palaces. I’ve really enjoyed my time with this game though there are a few issues that can’t be ignored but I also don’t feel really take much from the game.
This game had a great story. I may have seen some of the twists coming but overall I loved the characters and enjoyed playing out and discovering the story. The writing was good and I felt like they did a pretty good job localizing it as well. The dialogue felt more real and honest then most games. Especially for younger characters who normally have out dated or really cheesy dialogue if they aren’t just written as adults. I think that the limited use of slang was a big part of this. Asking of your party member is jelly of your cool clothes was great but I’m glad they didn’t over use it. This carries over into the text as well. A few reminders that they are in a group text, the occasional tbh for example. I’m glad no one really got carried away with the idea of net speak or anything. Just enough to add flavor.
The systems of the game felt really good. Figuring out strength and weakness’ in your enemies felt rewarding. To go from a tough fight against a new enemy to wiping out three of them in a single round was a great feeling of accomplishment. The gear offered nice progression boosts but never felt like a huge drag balancing out equipment loadouts and the like. In fact, I feel like most of the game benefits from this. A quiet depth you can explore but isn’t overwhelming or a chore.
The confidant, formerly social link, system was fun as well. It was a joy seeing individual story lines carried out with the characters. They gave a nice feeling of character growth and development while offering some really useful bonus and skills at the same time.
The changes to the dungeons felt welcomed. Having these premade dungeons really was great. They each had character and cool little mechanics that made them different. On the flipside, they have mementos which is the familiar, randomly generated dungeon similar to the other games but with its own unique quirks as well. Giving you both options to explore and enjoy your time with.
It wasn’t a perfect game however, no game is. The opening drug on too long. A number of skills and abilities are kept from you until much later in the game then I thought was necessary. The biggest offender is the stealth mechanic which you are shown minutes after starting the game. Unfortunately, you have to do some dungeon exploring before the game reintroduces it to you. It feels out of place because you are already ‘sneaking’ around, ambushing enemies, having a good time. That especially I wish was introduced earlier in the game.
In fact, it’s not just abilities that are kept until later parts of the game. I really wish some of the characters came in sooner as well, particularly team members. I’d have liked more time with the full team because they can offer so much variety into how you are proceeding through the game. I understand the reasoning for this but I really wish they at least had a new game plus option to meet the characters sooner or at least get use of them inside of the dungeons.
Another issue I had with the game was the large blocks of time where I wasn’t allowed to do anything. At several points in the game large periods of time start passing where you do little more then hit buttons as you wake up and do your thing before bed. It felt like a loss of control and a frustration when it seems that your ability to make decisions and do events is stripped away for reasons that don’t always make sense. At least let me go out before or after the story stuff. Don’t just strip days away from me.
Thankfully none of that was enough to really diminish my enjoyment of the game however.
In the end the game is a blast however. I have so much time into it and I’m only going to invest more as I continue my second play through on merciless mode. I definitely recommend this game for fans of RPG’s.
Written by Cameron Sills